CT Lung Screening – recommendations for heavy smokers

Early detection of lung cancer
Research from the National Cancer Institute National Lung Cancer Screening Trial has shown that low-dose CT (computed tomography) screening can reduce deaths from lung cancer by 20 percent compared to x-ray. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for women and men in the United States. Patients diagnosed with lung cancer have a five-year survival rate of only 15 percent. CT screening can catch nodules in the lungs that are too small to be seen on x-rays. At this early stage, cancers are potentially more curable.

Who should be screened?
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has determined that CT lung screening is a coverable preventive screening under the Medicare program if the following criteria are met:

• Age 55 – 77 years;
• Asymptomatic (no signs or symptoms of lung cancer);
• Tobacco smoking history of at least 30 pack-years (one pack-year = smoking one pack per day for one year; 1 pack = 20 cigarettes);
• Current smoker or one who has quit smoking within the last 15 years;
• Has a shared decision making/tobacco counseling session with the referring doctor

The CT lung screening procedure requires a physician referral. For more information and to schedule your CT lung screening exam, please contact us at 512-453-6100.